It is a privilege to represent the people of New Plymouth electorate. This election, I am asking for your support again, so I can build on successes we have achieved together. The Vickers to City project, Ultrafast Broadband, new facilities for the police and schools, and the launch of the Project Mounga conservation programme are among highlights from past terms.
I’m proud to have initiated the Taranaki Futures organisation alongside business and education leaders in New Plymouth, and then developed the Accelerator Programme to enable students to make well informed and positive decisions for their tertiary studies and career futures. I am excited now to announce Creative Accelerator, a new opportunity for young people to explore career options in the arts, whether it’s architecture, graphic design, screenwriting, film or photography – the sky’s the limit!
The Pouakai Track/Taranaki Crossing has only advanced by 800 metres of boardwalk in the last three years. Last month, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones told my Select Committee he doesn’t know what’s happened to the 3.3 million dollars the last National-led government allocated to the project. We must get this project moving forward at greater pace.
National continues to hold the view that natural gas is a strategic resource, essential to strengthen security of supply and affordability of energy in both the electricity and gas markets. We recognise that natural gas underpins renewables, by being the lowest emission, instant-start backup that can be called upon when the lakes are low, the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine. This is important to keep households energy costs as low as possible and to get our economy growing again. The National Party will revisit and reverse the exploration ban, while we continue to stand by our commitment to see New Zealand move towards a low-emission economy. They are not mutually exclusive.
Despite being in opposition this last term, I’ve been busier than ever travelling around the country for my portfolio responsibilities, but more particularly assisting with a range of constituent concerns. As I said at the start, it is a privilege to represent the people of New Plymouth electorate. Being able to help them through difficulties is the core role of a Member of Parliament and I ask for your support to continue that work.